First, was does IMEI stand for and why would I ever need to know this?
IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) is a unique number given to every cell phone. The number is usually printed on a label located behind the battery. IMEI numbers of cellular phones connected to a GSM network are stored in a data base (EIR - Equipment Identity Register) containing all valid mobile phone equipment. In the event your phone is stolen the IMEI number is flagged and marked as invalid.
Here is the scenario. I just switched carries and I still want to use my practically brand new Motorola V3 Razr. Well it turns out you have to unlock the phone in order to use the new carriers network even though they both use the same GSM phones. This is done by calling the old carrier and convincing them to give you the code (which unfortunately is not very easy to do ? a lot of begging, pleading and thank you very much is needed). Of course you can just go to one of the numerous sites out there that can unlock your phone for a fee, (usually around $25) but what fun is that.
Tip1: Get the code before canceling service or porting the number!
Now let us say you call customer service from your cell phone and after waiting on hold for 10 minutes (if you?re lucky) you get through to a representative only to find out they need the IMEI number in order to give you the code to unlock the phone. Now you have to turn the phone off remove the battery and copy the number down. You and I both know there is no chance you are going to get the same representative when you call back or he/she is going to call you back.
Here's where tip #2 really comes in handy.
If anyone has any other tips and tricks I would love to hear from you.